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A years-long effort to increase the use of evidence-based practice among nurses and other public health professionals has received a new phase of funding.

Krista Jones, DNP ’11, MS ’07, RN, PHNA-BC, clinical associate professor and director of the UIC College of Nursing’s Urbana campus, is leading the project, called Nursing Experts: Translating the Evidence, with a team of nurses and librarians. The award, from the National Library of Medicine Region 6, began in 2014 and is now in phase five, with a total of $100,000 in funding awarded since its inception.

To date, more than 900 public health and school nurses and 550 acute and ambulatory care nurses have benefited from the project, Jones says. Evidence-based practice is a process used to review the latest scientific evidence and incorporate it into clinical practice.

“Nurses and public health professionals need to document and demonstrate that they engage in research and implement [evidence-based practice] to enhance healthcare quality, improve patient outcomes, and reduce costs,” says Jones. “However, despite the explosion of scientific evidence, evidence-based care is not standard of care.”

In phase four, Jones and her team surveyed past participants to learn about challenges in underserved communities. They also expanded their promotion of evidence-based practice to underserved community hospitals, health departments and clinical agencies.

In the fifth phase, they will continue that outreach, while also expanding online modules to include content applicable to all public health professionals and providing continuing education units for librarians, public health professionals, and nurses.